What Kinds of People are at High Risk to Develop Chronic Stress-Related Symptoms?

  • Ian E. Wickramasekera


Sir William Osier had to rely on intuition to identify subject features that could potentiate or attenuate either the symptoms or the etiology, or both, of a disease. The first goal of the present chapter is to specify a promising set of empirically identifiable individual differences and also a set of situational events that increase the risk of developing stress-related physical symptoms. The second goal is to present evidence from my clinical practice and the research literature to support this model of the patient at high risk to develop chronic stress-related illness. The third goal of this chapter is tentatively to suggest some procedures to quantify these subject dimensions and these situational conditions. The present model (Wickramasekera, 1979, 1980b,d, 1983) is based on clinical observations in an increasingly specialized clinical practice, theoretical speculations, and empirical data from several disparate lines of controlled research.


Conditioned Stimulus Coping Skill Somatic Complaint Physiological Arousal Daily Hassle 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian E. Wickramasekera
    • 1
  1. 1.Behavioral Medicine Clinic and Stress Disorders Research LaboratoryEastern Virginia Medical SchoolNorfolkUSA

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